North Platte teachers get boost in benefits

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- Teachers in the North Platte Public School District will see an increase of at least $1,700 in their benefits in the 2018-19 school year. The figure is the result of a certified negotiated agreement, approved by the school board on Mon., March 12.

The increase of $1,700 is in the form of a healthcare stipend and a 1.5 percent increase from the current numbers. Pending on a teacher's years of service and whether he or she is in the process of furthering their education, that increase could bump up to two point five percent.

Stuart Simpson, director of finance for the district, explained that, by state statue, the district begins looking at these numbers in November. Simpson says that a specific timeline is set for getting to the agreement because it helps districts build a budget without having to guess about state aid and teacher salaries.

"Working with our North Platte Education Association, we went through the processes, looked at the timeline, recognized how many times we had to meet and really came to the conclusion of where we are," Simpson noted.

The board also discussed administrator salaries, which they recommend get a 1.82 percent increase. They get that number by looking at the consumer price index and comparing salaries at similar schools. Board members want the increase to be fair and competitive.

Two community members voiced their thoughts about the school's budget and some of these numbers. While one woman was concerned about property taxes and spending, another man said that he is pleased with and supports the numbers discussed.